Coast Is Crystal Clear

Seaside Hike in Crystal Cove

Captivating coastline, charming cottages, clear waters, and quaint wooden staircases: It’s just another day at the beach on this  6-mile (round-trip) seaside stroll in Crystal Cove State Park. Located between Corona del Mar and Laguna Beach, this wild and beautiful state park has more than 3 miles of glistening beaches and outstanding views of the Pacific. Park at the lot on Reef Point Drive and head north on the walking path, where you’ll be greeted by the fresh grassy scent of the brush that covers the park. Pelicans dip in and out of view while diving for their ocean snacks. After about a mile, take the stairs down into the cove, where you’ll find a historic district of rustic coastal cottages from the thirties and forties. Continue up the next set of stairs, passing a cozy inn and following the coastline for another 1.5 miles before looping down towards the beach. Tidepools here can teem with tiny creatures so give them a look. Take a third set of wooden staircases back up the bluff and to the main path, which lets you return the way you came.

BONUS: Grab some tacos and a beer at the Beachcomber Café, located in a converted cottage in the historic district right along this trail.

The state park paths are dog-friendly, but the beaches are not, so you’ll have to turn around before the beach section if you want to bring your dog.

Trending Stories SoCal

View all Stories
  1. Image that represents the story

    Thank You to Our 2020 Team

    Thank you to our wonderful 2020 team for bringing the great outdoors home in a most challenging year. Meet our contributors and get ideas from their personal favorite CA adventures this year.

    View
  2. Image that represents the story

    Trebek Open Space

    While most hikers head over to adjacent Runyon Canyon, instead do the 2-mile hike at Trebek Open Space and pay your respects to the legendary Jeopardy host and philanthropist, Alex Trebek.

    View
  3. Image that represents the story

    Rock the Hope at Lake Elsinore

    Hike the 4-mile Levee Trail on the shores of Southern California's largest natural freshwater lake, Lake Elsinore, and get a splash of positive energy thanks to the Rock Snake started earlier this year.

    View
  4. Image that represents the story

    Weekend Sherpa Podcast: Take it Outside

    Amid a new year that's already had challenges, Brad and Holly discuss the realities of what's happening in the country. And (!) some of the best new hiking trails locally in the Bay Area and SoCal.

    View

Trending Stories Northern CA

View all Stories
  1. Image that represents the story

    Tamtastical Hike

    This 6.8-mile loop through the woods and ridges that make up the northern foothills of Tam offer the best of both worlds: solitude and grandeur. Enjoy quiet trails, tranquil forest, and big views.

    View
  2. Image that represents the story
    Sponsored

    2021 Hiking Calendar!

    Ready to kick off 2021? (Like we have to ask.) Literally kick it off, with a hike! Download the 2021 POST Hiking Calendar (complimentary)—with recommended trails for every month of the year.

    View
  3. Image that represents the story

    Hawk-Eyed Sunset

    It's one of the best sunset spots in the Bay Area. And Hawk Hill in the Marin Headlands is quieter than usual this year because of few tourists. Enjoy a sweeping panorama 923 feet above the Pacific.

    View
  4. Image that represents the story

    Watershed Moment

    The Presidio in San Francisco offers some of the best urban hiking in the country! And the new marsh bridges under Presidio Parkway offer more habitat for plants, fish, and bird life … and trails for us!

    View